Wine Country travel enlivens all of your senses and also quiets your nerves at the same time. While wine tasting takes center stage, the first thing noted at the Fess Parker Winery & Vineyards and the companion Fess Parker Wine country Inn and Spa is your sense of sound. It is quiet, except for a few birds chirping and the friendly dogs greeting each other, as the sun rises over the property’s home town of Los Olivos, California,
The Fess Parker Winery and Vineyards is described as the “Jewel of Foxen Canyon Road” in the heart of Santa Barbara’s wine country. Tucked into the foothills overlooking the low mountains of the Santa Ynez Valley, the winery tasting room is stylish and sophisticated yet warm and approachable. Not only are you served by knowledgeable staff in the tasting room, the winery also serves as an entertainment center with a picnic area and VIP Barrel Room Lounge. You can pack and picnic and enjoy the outdoors.
Fess Parker was a well known actor who played Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone on successful television shows. His family has established properties that are now renowned in the region. In addition to the winery and wine country inn, they also own the Fess Parker Double Tree-Hilton Resort in Santa Barbara.
“Fess envisioned growing grapes but not to this scale,” says Fess Parker Winery and Vineyard President, Tim Snider. At the beginning of the winery business in the 1980’s, consumers still recognized the Fess Parker name. However, the younger generations know Fess Parker as the name on the label of some extraordinary wine. As they enjoy the wine they learn about the back story of his life as an actor.
Snider became part of the Parker family after he met Fess’s daughter Ashley on a wine industry trip in Australia in 1999. Tim and Ashley were married soon after. Snider believes the winery is now cast in the lead role of Fess Parker’s legacy. “Our family came in this business as a celebrity-family owned winery focused on quality and value. We happened to have a founder who had a very successful acting career. But today it’s not rooted in celebrity.”
The wholly family owned and operated winery was established in 1989 and after several decades of hard work the name Fess Parker is now known to new generations as a world-class producer of Syrah, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
The winemaking culture was originated by Fess Parker’s son, Eli who discovered a passion for winemaking at the outset of the business. Eli Parker stepped aside as the winemaker with the 2005 vintage and turned over the reins to Blair Fox. Both winemakers have won the prestigious Winemaker of the Year Award from the San Francisco Chronicle.
The Fess Parker Wine Country Inn is a Five Star boutique property located in the heart of Los Olivos. Surrounded by the beauty of Santa Barbara wine country, this charming town is known for its tasting rooms, restaurants, and galleries.
Guests at the19-room Inn enjoy luxurious rooms, the Champagne Spa and Boutique, the surprisingly hip Petros’ Restaurant specializing in Hellenic-California Cuisine, an outdoor patio with a warming fireplace, a library room , and the Bin 2860 International Wine Shop, showcasing wines from the region and from around the world. Black and white photos of winemakers from the Santa Ynez Valley adorn the walls providing an introduction to the wine culture of the region.